UCLA missed out on many coaches before hiring Cronin UCLA fired Steve Alford on Dec. 31, so it had a head-start in the hiring process. The school set its sights high, but came up short in its pursuit of a bevy of upper echelon candidates.
Among the coaches pursued by UCLA were Kentucky’s John Calipari, Virginia’s Tony Bennett, TCU’s Jamie Dixon and Tennessee’s Rick Barnes.
Calipari leveraged the interest from UCLA into a “lifetime” contract at Kentucky. Bennett, who coached the Cavs to a national title on Monday night, was not interested. Dixon and UCLA reportedly hit a snag over UCLA’s reluctance to pay the $8 million buyout to separate Dixon from his contract at TCU. Barnes, after mulling the decision for a few days, turned down UCLA Monday night in order to stay at Tennessee.
The floundering search reflected the reality of UCLA’s fall from the top of college basketball. Now Cronin will be tasked with bringing the Bruins back up the ladder.
I gotta say...after what they put us through, I hope Cronin doesn't 'bring them back up the ladder.'
Substitute the names and bball for football and it sounds like our past decade. Maybe Cronin is their Butch, but eventually they'll be back. We are now rising and recruits know it in bball, football, and other sports.